This time, it is good. After having had to give up at the last minute for fear of the lightning, to launch two Nasa astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, in space, SpaceX has made a new attempt on Saturday 30 may. The mission is the first manned flight originating in the United States for nine years, and the first entrusted to a private company. The rocket Falcon 9, the company founded by Elon Musk rose from the Kennedy space center in Florida in the air at 21: 22 a.m., Paris time, 15: 22, local time.
We have liftoff. History is made as @NASA_Astronauts launch from @NASAKennedy for the first time in nine years on the @SpaceX Crew Dragon: pic.twitter.com/alX1t1JBAt— NASA (@NASA) May 30, 2020
the first minutes of The flight passed without incident, according to the live broadcast of the mission by Nasa. The first stage of the rocket is detached as expected after two minutes of flight, then it fusait to the sky to nearly 4 000 km/h. Then the second stage of Falcon 9 placed the Dragon on the right orbit, in the direction of the international space Station, its destination, flying at more than 400 kilometers above the oceans, at more than 27 000 km/h. " real geniuses, no one does it like us ", considered Donald Trump for an observation platform, stating that the prowess of the United States in space would be " one of the most important things we've ever done ".
"Congratulations [...] for this first trip inhabited for Falcon 9, it was incredible," said Doug Hurley, commander of the ship, filmed with his team-mate by a camera on board. The two men then proceeded to test the capsule in orbit, including a hand grip of the controls of the vessel which is fully automated, and removed their suits, once in weightlessness in the vacuum of space.
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/DRBfdUM7JA— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 30, 2020
"It is a dream become a reality"
Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken had to repeat the same what they did Wednesday : they donned their space suits white and black, adjusted and inspired by Hollywood ; they said goodbye to their families, without contact ; and a convoy drove up to the fuse in an electric car Tesla, advertising offered by Nasa to Elon Musk, who created the brand. A little less than three hours before take-off, they are mounted in the capsule of the Crew Dragon, the tip of a rocket Falcon 9. It is as well, strapped into their seat, they will be waiting for the green light for the launch. "It is a dream become a reality. I didn't think this day would happen really, " said Elon Musk last Wednesday.
The mission may seem a small step in the exploration of space : "Bob" and "Doug" and don't go neither to the Moon nor to Mars, only in the old space station, where Russians and Americans are coming and going since 1998. Nasa, though, sees it as a " revolution ", because SpaceX is going to give the United States access to space, low cost, cheaper than its previous programmes. For three billion awarded since 2011, SpaceX has fully developed a new taxi space and promised to its client, six round trips to the ISS. "Elon Musk has brought to the us space program, the vision and the inspiration that has been missing for nine years, since the end of the space shuttle. It is bright and able ", has praised the head of Nasa, Jim Bridenstine, on Friday.
The Americans would no longer depend on the Russians
The trust had to be earned. Elon Musk knew nothing with the rockets when he founded SpaceX in 2002. Its first three launches failed. A rocket exploded on the ground with a valuable satellite in its nose cone, another shortly after the launch with supplies for the ISS. Last year, the capsule Dragon itself exploded during a test of the engines on the ground. The program would have had to begin in 2017. In fine, the officials of Nasa have given the green light to entrust to SpaceX two of its astronauts. They speak of the partnership in terms of extremely laudateurs : head of commercial flights manned referred to the "miracles" performed by the collaboration of the two teams.
Saturday, in the mythical room of ignition of the Kennedy center, this was not a man from Nasa gave the " go " ultimate for the take-off, but the director of the launch of SpaceX, Michael Taylor, officials from the u.s. space agency has no role in the countdown. Crew Dragon is a capsule like Apollo, but Twenty-first century version. Touch screens have replaced buttons and levers. The interior is dominated by white, the lighting more subtle. A single "umbilical" connecting the combinations to the seats to provide fresh air and communication to the two men.
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Unlike the shuttle, which exploded in 1986 during launch (Challenger), Dragon can eject in an emergency if the fuse has a problem. If it is certified to be safe after the launch of Saturday, the Americans will depend more on the Russians for access to space : since 2011, the Soyuz were the only taxis space available. The transfer from Florida will return to being regular, with four astronauts aboard.